A midnight phone call jolted us awake. The anguished voice of my husband’s new coworker arrested our compassion. “We’ve been in an awful wreck,” he murmured. “Would you please take the baby-sitter home and care for the children?”
As the details of the accident later unfolded, we learned that a carload of drunken teens in a bald-tired, unlicensed junker had hit this couple’s vehicle head-on around the bend of a well-known “dead-man’s curve.” The husband’s tongue was partially severed and his hip crushed. His wife, thrown through the windshield, sustained major head trauma and coded twice in the emergency room.
Prayer-bathed days slipped into weeks, and weeks into months. We bedded our two daughters on sleeping bags and turned their bedroom into guest quarters. Our 2 ½-year-old boarder didn’t know us well enough at first to connect us with a name. His kindergartener sister broke down only once, when she heard a radio announcer mention Mother’s Day.
The challenges mounted. The wife’s parents from England moved in with us. The husband’s mother, an opera star from Germany, needed transportation and soothing of a distraught temperament. Her only son lay on a water mattress fighting septicemia and teeth-chattering, body-shaking chills, fully aware that his wife remained in a coma. Neighbors alerted us to a fire in the children’s home. We were thankful that it had been confined just to the basement because of the neighbor’s quick action.
Years later, we look back on that pressure-intense experience as a most rewarding demonstration of God’s watchcare. That foursome of a family is fully functional, and the little blond lad who was taken in by near strangers is now a computer expert who warmly dubs us “Aunt” and “Uncle.”
A coworker had a head-on collision with a careening car. Our family collided with the heartwarming cushion of a caring Christ, who strengthened us moment by moment.
As God’s steward, I had been good at blocking out convenient time slots “for the Lord’s work,” with pretty precise outcomes anticipated. But this was a valuable lesson about “hanging in there” over the long haul for an encounter laced with a string of unknowns.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4, NKJV).
By Lil Yarosh
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